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Chanel’s tryst with Byzantine opulence

Chanel’s tryst with Byzantine opulence
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First Published: Sat, Mar 26 2011. 01 16 AM IST

Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld
Updated: Sat, Mar 26 2011. 01 16 AM IST
Karl Lagerfeld
With jewel tones, regal gold embellishments and dripping gemstones, Chanel’s Pre-Fall 2011 Métiers d’Art collection is all about splendour. Inspired by Coco Chanel’s love for the Byzantine empire, Karl Lagerfeld has reinterpreted the Roman silhouettes and presented tunics and togas with a contemporary twist.
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What are luxury brands for if not a recoding of heritage for modern times? Since 2002, through Metiers d’Art, Lagerfeld has dedicated an annual collection to French artisans—embroiderers, shoemakers and goldsmiths—to keep their craft alive. This time, tweeds have been interwoven with gold, velvet, cashmere, chiffon, lace and tulle to create a dazzling collection.
The belts and jewellery from this collection, adorned with glass beads and enamelling, are also reminiscent of Indian royal grandeur. The biggest international fashion houses have openly spoken about India’s tradition of craftsmanship—sometimes to acknowledge outsourcing their embroidery to India, or finding inspiration in the country, and usually to talk about the immense potential of the Indian market. “It’s a huge country and an old country with deep appreciation of beautiful things,” Patrizio di Marco, CEO of Gucci, told us on his visit to India in November.
Chanel’s Paris-Byzance collection will be available at Chanel boutiques in May.
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First Published: Sat, Mar 26 2011. 01 16 AM IST